Photos from Toronto's crane-climbing urban explorer

David Topping from Torontoist sez, "Torontoist has an interview with HI-LITE, an urban explorer who favours cranesâ€"and whose shots of Toronto from dozens of storeys off the ground are totally amazing."

I left Toronto in 1999 after 29 years in the city; every time I go back there's a whole new forest of high-rises (usually filled with badly made, tiny condos) on display.

As it is on the high seas, perched on a tower crane, wind is a constant. The entire crane actually sways to and fro. Winter or summer, the air is always chilled. Replacing the scent of salted sea air is the smell of the industrial lubricants used to maintain the crane's slewing unit.

At night, the crow's-nest view from the operator's cab is a treasure trove of glinting city lights. The daytime view is concrete, glass, sunlight, and blue horizons as far as the eye can see.

Considering the heights HI-LITE has to climb, this sky pirate carries as little as possible. Two cameras (one digital, the other a 35mm), a change of lens, a tripod, and not much else. Spending a maximum of thirty minutes atop a crane, HI-LITE will periodically bring along a safety harness.

View From The Crow's Nest

(Thanks, David!)